As part of our ongoing seminar series, the Centre of Excellence in Severe Asthma hosted Dr. Anne Vertigan for a webinar on “Speech Pathology Management of PVFM in Asthma” on 28 July 2015.
Paradoxical vocal fold movement (PVFM) refers to the involuntary adduction of the vocal folds during inspiration. PVFM can contribute to breathlessness. It is also known as vocal cord dysfunction (VCD).
PVFM can be diagnosed by nasendoscopy, hypertonic saline challenge, dynamic CT or based on clinical signs and symptoms. Speech pathology treatment, including breathing exercises, is an effective treatment approach.
Laryngeal abnormalities often occur in asthma, including PVFM, dysphonia and laryngeal hypersensitivity. These conditions may be misdiagnosed as asthma but can also co-occur. When laryngeal dysfunction co-exists, it can contribute to asthma symptoms.
In patients with asthma, laryngeal abnormalities should be considered as alternative diagnoses or as comorbidities. Appropriate treatment of laryngeal abnormalities can improve patient outcomes.
Dr. Anne Vertigan has worked as speech pathologist for Hunter New England Health for over 25 years, with clinical roles including chronic cough, voice disorders and dysphagia.
Her research interests include chronic cough, paradoxical vocal cord movement / vocal cord dysfunction and voice and upper airway problems in asthma.